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  • CFP Issue 25: Truth (2017)

    28-May-2017

    © Wellcome Images

    The idea of truth has become all the more contentious in light of recent social and political developments. Truth claims have long been a cause for scepticism within the humanities, with the advent of poststructuralism particularly highlighting the interaction between “truth” and power, leading scholars to be suspicious of transcendental truths or metanarratives. Feminists and writers of colour have raised similar concerns about truth claims; Jane Flax asks, “If there is no objective basis for distinguishing between true and false beliefs, then it seems that power alone will determine the outcome of competing truth claims” (Feminism/Postmodernism 42). In this light, discourses surrounding truth have been deemed somewhat suspicious, particularly for marginalised groups. There has likewise been scrutiny on the truth effects created in literature, and how generic conventions naturalise certain metanarratives. With this in mind, how can literature and popular culture use fiction to engage with truth and the power dynamics implicit in it?

    The position of truth in the humanities has been further complicated by recent public discourse, influenced by the Trump administration and the Brexit campaign. These have ushered in an era of post-truth, Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year 2016. Post- truth, which the OED describes as a state in which public opinion is based on emotion and belief rather than objective fact, closely aligns with what Stephen Colbert refers to as “truthiness,” defined as “the belief in what you feel to be true rather than what the facts will support” (“‘Post-Truth' Is Just A Rip-Off Of ‘Truthiness’” YouTube). The post-truth era has highlighted the dangers of eschewing the notion of truth altogether, exposing how easily the pubic can be swayed by arguments that tap into their social anxiety and biases, regardless of conflicting evidence. What role can both fiction and non-fiction play in navigating the post- truth era? How is the distinction between fiction and non-fiction complicated by the precarious position of truth in contemporary society?

    Issue 25 of FORUM seeks contributions from a range of disciplines that engage with the concept of truth. How, in this climate, can we responsibly approach the idea of truth? What position does this leave marginalised people in with regards to truth claims? How are certain truths central to our social structures? How have writers navigated or conceptualised the relationship between fiction and truth, and how might that relationship be politicised? How do genres create the effect of truth? And how might these effects be disturbed?

    Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

    Fiction

    • Genre and truth effects
    • Authenticity
    • Life-writing
    • Unreliable narration
    • Fictional testimony

    Social

    • Universal truths
    • Truth and social order
    • Counter histories 
    • Truth and nationhood 
    • Post truth/Truthiness

    Identity

    • Epistemic injustice
    • Trustworthiness
    • Racial/ cultural/ sexual/ gender authenticity 
    • Truth and power

    Philosophy

    • Objectivity
    • Religion
    • Changing truths
    • Poststructuralism
    • Truth and ethics

    Papers must be between 3,000 – 5,000 words in length, formatted according to MLA guidelines. FORUM is also considering academic book reviews (1,000 words) and multimedia and alternative presentations for publication. Please e-mail your article, a short abstract and your academic CV in separate, clearly labelled DOC(X). files to editors@forumjournal.org by Tuesday, 12 September 2017. All eligible articles will be peer reviewed prior to publication. Only one submission per author per issue is permitted. 

    Read more about CFP Issue 25: Truth (2017)
  • CFP Issue 24: Taboo (2017)

    12-Dec-2016

    “Saturn Devouring His Son,” Francisco Goya, c. 1819-1823

     

    Taboo permeates all aspects of everyday life, acting as the boundary against which society polices human experience and experimentation. Frequently characterised as social or religious customs that proscribe particular ideas, practices, words or persons, taboos not only help define a set of shared rules for society, but also clarify the limitations of the accepted.

    Kelly Hurley highlights the positive facets of taboo, suggesting that it is only through the enforcement of certain boundaries that humans might “continue to experience the world as an epistemologically stable site” (The Gothic Body 25). Mary Douglas, meanwhile, argues that although taboos act as a safeguard against social disorder, they often become repressive for members of society. In light of these contrasting views, are specific taboos indeed necessary for social stability, or do they simply hinder progress?

    Taboos differ across cultures, religions, and time; yet certain forbidden practices like incest, cannibalism, and murder seem more universally regarded. Why might this be? Changing social standards also create new taboos that reflect a particular historical moment. Tracing the ways in which taboos arise and are challenged therefore not only reveals these standards, but also society’s anxieties, fears, and nightmares.

    Issue 24 of FORUM seeks contributions from a range of disciplines that engage with the concept of taboo. To what extents are civilisations structured around taboos? How might taboos reveal the darker, or even the suppressed side of society? In what ways do art and literature provide avenues for the exploration of taboo? Do taboos inevitably drive the homogenisation of both landscapes and people? In what ways might breaking taboos offer opportunities for liberation? Are there some taboos that should never be broken? Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

    • Social
      • Conformity and/or censorship (social, political, familial, sexual, linguistic, etc.)
      • Shifting social norms and lifting taboo in public/private spheres
      • Social etiquette and behaviour modification
      • Prohibition and transgression
      • Political correctness
      • Universal taboos
      • Culture-bound taboos
      • Functions of taboo
      • Euphemism
    • Body
      • Contagion and contamination
      • Abjection
      • Bodies and boundaries
      • Conceptions of dis/ability
      • The evolution of sexual and/or gender taboos
    • Monstrosity
      • Constructions of monstrosity (Medieval, Gothic, etc.)
      • Monsters in society (serial killers, sexual offenders, cannibals)
      • Aliens and interlopers
    • Resistance
      • Breaking taboo as a means of rebellion
      • Forbidden words and ideas (the unthinkable/unspeakable)
      • Deviance and social stigma

     

    Papers must be between 3,000 – 5,000 words in length, formatted according to MLA guidelines. FORUM is also considering academic book reviews (1,000 words) and multimedia and alternative presentations for publication. Please e-mail your article, a short abstract and your academic CV in separate, clearly labelled DOC(X). files to editors@forumjournal.org by 27 February 2017. All eligible articles will be peer reviewed prior to publication. Only one submission per author per issue is permitted.

    Read more about CFP Issue 24: Taboo (2017)
  • CFP Issue 23: Readers and Writers (2016)

    31-May-2016

    © Public Domain/WikiCommons

    From the earliest traces of etchings on stone tablets to the emergence of Kindles and e-readers in contemporary society, humans have invented platforms for the creation and dissemination of text. Implicit in each textual object are the figures of the reader and writer and their differing engagement with the work. But what does it mean to be a reader or a writer, and how does each role play a part in the shaping of a text?

    In 1967, Roland Barthes famously proclaimed the death of the author, arguing that it was for the reader to instil meaning in a text. Barthes’ essay questioned the existing hierarchy of writer above reader, and initiated new discussion on their roles. Reader response critics such as Hans Robert Jauss have also considered the impact of an individual’s experiences on textual interpretation. What effects have such theories had on previous understandings of the reader/writer relationship? How can we conceptualise these roles in an increasingly complex literary and textual environment?

    It is not only the experiences of the individual reader and writer that are interrogated. We can now ask what role the market plays in redefining these two figures. Robert Darnton’s Communication Circuit draws attention to socio-political and commercial forces that impact the creation, production and distribution of a book. How do such models complicate the dialogical relationship between reader and writer?

    How do literary devices alter our perception of the reader/writer figure? Those such as frame narratives and epistolary forms place readers and writers at the centre of the text, while the found manuscript and false document conceit in fiction work to remove the presence of the author in order to foster verisimilitude. What do these metafictions say about the changing social, cultural and intellectual nature of reading and writing?

    In this issue, we aim to engage with the broadest possible understandings of readers and writers. We are seeking submissions from a range of disciplines relating to the arts, culture or social sciences that consider the topic of READERS AND WRITERS for Issue 23 of FORUM. Submissions may relate, but are not limited to:

    • Reader response theory and affective criticism
    • Different approaches to critical reading
    • Reading and writing in the digital age
    • Historical reading practices
    • Writing communities
    • The history of the book
    • Fan fiction and non-traditional forms of publication
    • “Reading” visual and pictorial texts
    • Rewriting dominant narratives
    • Reading and writing as political acts
    • Gendered reading and writing
    • Literacy
    • Spaces for reading and writing
    • Metafiction
    • Depictions of reading and writing in literature
    Papers must be between 3,000 - 5,000 words in length, formatted according to MLA guidelines. FORUM is also considering academic book reviews (1,000 words) and multimedia and alternative presentations for publication. Please e-mail your article, a short abstract and your academic CV in separate, clearly labelled DOC(X). files to editors@forumjournal.org by 12th September 2016. All eligible articles will be peer reviewed prior to publication. Only one submission per author per issue is permitted. Read more about CFP Issue 23: Readers and Writers (2016)
  • Issue 22 Ideological Conflict (2016)

    15-Dec-2015

    Issue 22 of FORUM looks to explore Jasmine Gani’s suggestion that we should be “bringing back ideas,” when analysing this new era of entrenched conflict. We seek contributions from a range of disciplines that engage with the topic of conflicting ideologies. How do questions of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, and political affiliation affect conceptions of ideology at both an individual and a wider cultural level? Please email your paper, a short abstract and your academic CV in separate, clearly labelled .DOC(X) files to editors@forumjournal.org by 29 February 2016.

    © CC BY 2.0

     

    Read more about Issue 22 Ideological Conflict (2016)
  • CFP: Issue 21 Private/Public (2015)

    23-Jun-2015

    There has been a significant shift in the boundaries between the private and public realm in recent years. While identity politics and the confessional mode have contributed to the enlargement of ‘the private’, the increasing dominance of the corporate model has led to the erosion of what has traditionally been conceived of as ‘the public’. Issue 21 of FORUM seeks contributions from a range of disciplines that engage with the debate about the distinctions between the private and public spheres.Has there been a retreat into private and individualised experience? If the traditional notion of the public sphere involves a ‘top down' model, what are the possibilities for the ‘bottom-up’ paradigm offered by the commons, and enabled by online networks? Please email your paper, a short abstract and your academic CV in separate, clearly labelled .DOC(X) files to editors@forumjournal.org by 15 September 2015.

    Read more about CFP: Issue 21 Private/Public (2015)
  • CFP: Issue 20 After the Good Life (2015)

    18-Dec-2014

    In Cruel Optimism (2011), Lauren Berlant asks why we stay “attached to conventional good-life fantasies – say of enduring reciprocity in couples, families, political systems, institutions, markets and at work – when the evidence of their instability, fragility, and dear cost abounds” (2). Issue 20 of FORUM seeks contributions from a range of disciplines that engage with questions of how we conceive of ‘the good life’ in the contemporary moment. What does the good life look like under austerity, under economic, ecological, and social crisis, under neoliberalism and what comes after? How do relations of gender, race, ethnicity and sexuality affect our visions of the good life? Please email your paper, a short abstract and your academic CV in separate, clearly labelled .DOC(X) files to editors@forumjournal.org by 2 March 2015.

    ©Mark A. Nye

     

    Read more about CFP: Issue 20 After the Good Life (2015)
  • CFP: Issue 19 The New Materialisms (2014)

    17-Jun-2014

    The role of matter has often been marginalised in much of philosophical thought. Recent accounts of a new materialist philosophy, however, call for a radicalisation of what ‘matter’ truly means. For Issue 19 of FORUM, a peer-reviewed postgraduate journal based at the University of Edinburgh, we are seeking submissions from a range of disciplines relating to the arts or culture that consider the topic of THE NEW MATERIALISMS. Please email your paper, a short abstract and your academic CV in separate, clearly labelled .DOC(X) files to editors@forumjournal.org by Friday 12th September 2014.

    © Mark Welbedacht

     

    Read more about CFP: Issue 19 The New Materialisms (2014)
  • CFP: Issue 18 Cliches (2014)

    08-Jan-2014

    As writers and academics we fear having our work criticised as cliché; yet, we continue to repeat and overwork certain ideas to the brink. For issue 18, CLICHÉ, we consider how clichés have become cultural relics, reread and relocated as benchmarks for new art and interpretation. FORUM invite submissions from a range of disciplines relating to the arts or culture that consider the topic, CLICHÉ. Please email your paper, a short abstract and your academic CV in separate, clearly labelled .DOC(X) files to editors@forumjournal.org by Thursday 20th March 2014.

    ©Adriana Santamaría P. 

     

    Read more about CFP: Issue 18 Cliches (2014)
  • CFP: Issue 17 Rites and Rituals (2013)

    29-Nov-2013

    We are seeking submissions from a range of disciplines relating to the arts, culture or social sciences that consider the topic of RITES & RITUALS for issue 17 of FORUM. Papers must be between 3,000 and 5,000 words in length, formatted according to MLA guidelines. Please email your paper, a short abstract and your academic CV in separate, clearly labelled .DOC(X) files to editors@forumjournal.org by MONDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER 2013.

    Read more about CFP: Issue 17 Rites and Rituals (2013)
  • Conference Thank You!

    29-Nov-2013

    A big thank-you to all our delegates and academic guests who joined us last month for ReVision: Editing Across Disciplines.

    We hope everyone enjoyed the conference and took away something useful: according to our feedback forms (thanks to all who filled in!) it seems that the workshops were particularly interesting, as was the diverse range of disciplines gathered together on various panels. We were glad to hear you all felt relaxed and enjoyed the friendly feedback and peer support the delegates at the conference provided, whilst managing to ensure all papers were professional and up to date. You can check out the pictures and download a copy of the programme here!

    Read more about Conference Thank You!
  • CFP: FORUM Conference 2013

    29-Nov-2013

    FORUM, the University of Edinburgh’s Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts, is pleased to announce its third conference which will explore the theme of editing. This conference invites participants to explore the variety of practices and concepts of editing across disciplines and as they appear in different historical and cultural contexts, as well as to reflect on the opportunities, goals and challenges of contemporary editing and publishing. Please send titled abstracts of up to 300 words along with a brief biographical statement to forum.conference.edit@gmail.com no later than February 18th 2013.

    Read more about CFP: FORUM Conference 2013
  • CFP: Issue 16 Un/Natural Histories (2013)

    29-Nov-2013

    Although European thought has traditionally placed ‘nature’ in opposition to ‘culture’, as the title UN/NATURAL HISTORIES suggests, the world in which we find ourselves and the narratives we tell about it can also be seen to stand in a shifting and mutually influential relationship to one another. For the summer issue of FORUM, a peer-reviewed postgraduate journal based at the University of Edinburgh, we are seeking submissions from a range of disciplines relating to the arts or culture that consider the topic of UN/NATURAL HISTORIES. Please email your paper, a short abstract and your academic CV in separate, clearly labelled .DOC files to editors@forumjournal.org by FRIDAY 8TH MARCH 2013.

    Fields of Gold', Rice Fields in Banaue in the Philippines, by kudumomo 19/02/2010 (link to original).

    Read more about CFP: Issue 16 Un/Natural Histories (2013)
  • CFP: Issue 15 Imitation and Repetition (2012)

    29-Nov-2013

    For the winter issue of FORUM, a peer-reviewed postgraduate journal based at the University of Edinburgh, we are seeking submissions from a range of disciplines relating to the arts or culture that consider the topic of IMITATION AND REPETITION. Please email your paper, a short abstract and your academic CV in separate, clearly labelled .DOC files to editors@forumjournal.org by Monday 24th September 2012.

     

    Read more about CFP: Issue 15 Imitation and Repetition (2012)
  • CFP: Issue 13 Revenge (2011)

    29-Nov-2013

    For the Autumn 2011 issue of FORUM, we invite submissons which explore representations of revenge in literature, art and film. From The Bacchae to Kill Bill, the theme of retribution has been used as a vehicle for intense scrutiny of human emotions and social conditions, and the revenge plot’s popularity as an abiding blockbuster ratings-winner testifies to its continuing cultural relevance. What is the basis for this apparent fascination with revenge? How is it depicted within creative works, and do audiences’ responses alter according to perceived ethical norms? We hope to receive a wide range of articles seeking to reappraise the aesthetic and cultural implications of this “compelling mix of ingredients”. Please email your paper, a short abstract and your academic CV in separate, clearly labelled .DOC files to editors@forumjournal.org by Monday 3rd October 2011.

    Read more about CFP: Issue 13 Revenge (2011)
  • CFP: Issue 12 Authenticity (2011)

    29-Nov-2013

    Is it possible to define an act, work or object as ‘authentic’, and should we try? For this issue, we invite submissions which explore the many facets of ‘authenticity’. We hope to question how the ideal of an ‘authentic’ or ‘genuine’ representation complicates/interacts with the ‘fake’, and the effect this might have on our response to creative acts when an ‘authentic’ object is re-evaluated. How do the concepts of the de-personalised ‘anonymous’ and authenticity intersect? Additionally, how do adaptations, recreations and re-presentations of existing works interact with and redefine the idea of an ‘authentic’ performance? In order to approach this issue, we are seeking submissions that consider the concept of AUTHENTICITY. Please 
    email your paper, a short abstract and your CV in separate, clearly labelled .DOC files to 
    editors@forumjournal.org by 14th February 2011.

    Read more about CFP: Issue 12 Authenticity (2011)